By Narrow Margin, Council Refuses to Seek Shipping Bids

Wednesday, April 01 2015

After weeks of discussion, Unalaska’s city council rejected a plan to open up bidding for long-term tenants at the municipal dock.

Dozens of longshoremen and employees from Horizon Lines watched last night as councilors debated whether to ask for proposals from other shipping companies that want to secure space at the Unalaska Marine Center.

The measure needed four votes to pass, since councilor Roger Rowland was excused from the meeting. It failed 3-2, with Alejandro “Bong” Tungul and Yudelka Leclere voting no.

Outages Possible as New Generator Kicks On

Wednesday, April 01 2015

The lights could dim over Unalaska this week as utility workers test out the city’s newest diesel generator.

The fourth engine will be switched on Wednesday at 12 p.m. Utility director Dan Winters says it will operate at a quarter of its full capacity before workers begin ramping up the load.

"So that could take a day," Winters says. "Or if we see any problems during that process, we’ll shut it down, fix any issues we may have and then bring it back up and start over where we left off at."

Interior Secretary Reaffirms Arctic Lease Sale

Tuesday, March 31 2015

Royal Dutch Shell cleared a major hurdle on Tuesday in its quest to return to the Arctic.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell decided to uphold the sale where Shell purchased many of its offshore leases in the Chukchi Sea -- including the ones the company wants to explore this summer. 

But until today, those leases were in limbo. A federal appeals judge ruled that the government hadn’t come up with an accurate estimate of how much development would take place in the Arctic as a result of the auction. 

Beyond Shipping, Council to Weigh Support for Capital Projects

Tuesday, March 31 2015

Besides finding a long-term tenant for the Unalaska Marine Center dock, city council will tackle a wide range of issues at their meeting tonight.

During a work session, the council will hear a presentation on the school district’s upcoming budget.

The council will also hold a public hearing and take a final vote on spending an extra $84,000 for upcoming capital projects. More than half of that would go toward designing a stormwater management system for Unalaska Lake.

Council to Vote on Taking Bids for City Dock Use

Monday, March 30 2015

Horizon Lines' local freight delivery comes into the Unalaska Marine Center every Friday. (Annie Ropeik/KUCB)

An open bidding process for new long-term shipping contracts at the Unalaska Marine Center will go to a vote when city council meets on Tuesday.

It’s the culmination of weeks of back-and-forth between the city, council and residents about the best way to secure a long-term user at the dock while preserving local freight service.

The request for proposals council will vote on hasn’t changed from what they considered earlier this month, and still includes extra points for companies that use local labor.

Sponsorship a Boost for Unalaska's Magic: The Gathering Players

Friday, March 27 2015

Kids and adults at the Magic tournament eat some pizza and build their decks out of new cards supplied by Bosco's in Anchorage. (Liam Andersen/KUCB)

For about a year, Unalaska’s community center has hosted a monthly tournament for the trading card game Magic: The Gathering. But last month marked a big step forward: A new card store in Anchorage has agreed to sponsor the event from here on out.

For local players, it could mean a chance to compete on a larger stage. KUCB's Liam Andersen has more.

Crabbers Want In on Federal Plan to Trace Illegal Seafood

Thursday, March 26 2015

A Coast Guard cutter escorts a vessel suspected of illegal fishing in the North Pacific in 2012. (Courtesy: USCG via NOAA)

A new federal plan to combat illegal seafood harvesting includes a program to trace at-risk species from harvest to market.

It means regulators will have to decide what species are suffering the most from illegal activity.

As KUCB’s Annie Ropeik reports, fishermen in Alaska are hoping crab will make the list.

Kayaking Film Set for Local Debut

Thursday, March 26 2015

Credit: Justine Curgenven / Cackle TV

A new documentary about a radical kayaking run through the Aleutian Islands will premiere tonight in Unalaska.

The film, called “Kayaking the Aleutians,” tells the story of a 101-day trip through the turbulent waters in the Chain.

Justine Curgenven -- an experienced kayaker and filmmaker -- captured the footage last summer while she was traveling alongside Sarah Outen.

AVO Puts Volcano Near Adak Back on Watch

Wednesday, March 25 2015

A composite view of Semisopochnoi in January. (Courtesy: Dave Schneider/AVO)

A volcanic island in the Western Aleutians is stirring again, after several months of quiet.

Semisopochnoi was put on an advisory alert level on Wednesday morning. It’s the first alert at the volcano since a seismic flare-up last June, which was its first activity in almost 30 years.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory says earthquake activity began at Semisopochnoi in January, and increased over the past few days. They also report new seismic tremors they say could indicate magma moving inside the volcano.

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